Building Background Knowledge: The Dinka and Nuer Tribes (“Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War” Excerpts 1 and 2) | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M1:U1:L11

Building Background Knowledge: The Dinka and Nuer Tribes (“Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War” Excerpts 1 and 2)

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations. (RL.7.11)
  • I can determine the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.7.2)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.7.4)
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI.7.1)

Supporting Targets

  • I can make connections from the text "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" to the novel A Long Walk to Water.
  • I can use context clues to determine word meanings. 
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of excerpts from the article "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War."

Ongoing Assessment

  • Text annotations for gist
  • Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (focus on Perspectives)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A. Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Sharing Homework: Gathering Evidence Graphic Organizer for Excerpt 1 (20 minutes)

B. Read-aloud of Excerpt 2: Vocabulary to Support Understanding (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A. Revisit Learning Targets (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Reread Excerpt 2 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" and annotate the text for gist.

  • This lesson follows the basic pattern of Lesson 10, with Excerpt 2 of the same article. In the Opening, students also revisit Excerpt 1. 
  • Having read Excerpt 1 several times, students then watch the teacher model how to summarize. Help students see the connection between their early preliminary "gist" annotations and this more formal summary of the main idea. "Getting the gist," in a sense, is the first step toward understanding the main idea. Summarizing will be modeled again in Lesson 12 (for Excerpt 2), and guided in Lesson 13. Then later, in Unit 2, students will continue building their ability to summarize independently. 
  • This lesson provides support for students' developing use of evidence in writing through modeling and a first practice with a text-dependent constructed response question. This instruction builds off of the activity in Lesson 9 in which students selected ideas that could be used in writing. Students are preparing for Lesson 12 in which they must select evidence to use in writing and begin a draft response. In Lesson 13, students will practice using evidence in a full response to a constructed response question, and Lesson 14 will ask students to complete this writing task as part of an End of Unit Assessment. Unit 2 includes more heavily scaffolded writing instruction and a formal writing assessment. 

Vocabulary

cite, text-based evidence, summarize, analysis, perspectives, detail/evidence, inference/reasoning; fault line, topple, coup, spiritual pollution, guerrillas (2), roughshod, dysfunction, assault (3)

Materials

  • Things Close Readers Do anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2; see additions in supporting materials)-- today's focus: "determine vocabulary in context"
  • "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" (from Lesson 10; one per student) 
  • Gathering Evidence graphic organizer for Excerpt 1 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" (focus on perspectives) (from Lesson 10; one per student)
  • Selecting Evidence graphic organizer related to "Sudanese Tribes..." article (begun in Lesson 10; one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera

Opening

Opening

A. Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes) 

  • Share the first two learning targets:

* "I can make connections from the text 'Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War' to the novel A Long Walk to Water."

* "I can use context clues to determine word meanings."

  • These targets should be familiar to students from Lesson 10. Invite students to show a quick thumbs up if they understand the target, thumbs down if not. 
  • Focus on the third target: 

* "I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of excerpts from the article 'Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War.'"

  • Focus on the words cite, evidence, and analyze. Point out to students that this is the type of thinking they have been doing as they worked through the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer for Excerpt 1 for homework. They were analyzing specific evidence from the text that helped them understand the perspectives of the Nuer and the Dinka.
  • Keep students with partner pairs from Lesson 10 ("A-Day" seating--see Teaching Notes in Lesson 1). Remind students that they'll practice our Partner Talk Expectations with these partners so that they can share ideas with different classmates.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Sharing Homework: Gathering Evidence Graphic Organizer for Excerpt 1 (20 minutes)

  • Ask students to take out their article, "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" (from Lesson 10), as well as their homework related to Gathering Evidence graphic organizers for Excerpt 1.
  • Point out to students that eventually they will be responsible for gathering their own evidence. But since they are just learning, you gave them some evidence to analyze. 
  • Ask students to turn to a partner to share their analysis of the evidence from Excerpt 1. 
  • Cold call three students to share what their partner wrote to explain each quote: "Cattle raiding is a hoary [old or ancient] tradition of pastoralists throughout East Africa." Remind students that they focused on this sentence in Lesson 10. (They should be able to explain that the Dinka and Nuer have been stealing each other's cattle for a long, long time.) 
  • "The victims were almost always warriors." Listen for students to state that before 1983, when the Dinka and Nuer fought, it was warriors (soldiers) fighting warriors on each side. No women or children were killed.
  • If the more scaffolded version of the Gathering Evidence graphic organizers for Excerpt 1 was used, repeat with this quote as well: "Rebellious southerners formed the Sudanese People's Liberation Army, and young Dinka and Nuer began to carry AK-47s." Listen for students to state that the two tribes were on the same side of the war, and had guns. 
  • Ask students to respond in writing to one key text-dependent question:

* "In 1983, when the war 'entered its current phase,' who was fighting whom? What is the quote from the article that gives you this information?"

  • Collect students' written responses (to act as an informal individual assessment), then ask for the answer verbally (to check and reinforce the correct information for the class).
  • Listen to be sure that students understand that the Dinka and Nuer were on the same side of the war, both part of the "Sudanese People's Liberation Army" that was fighting the "Arab north." 
  • Tell them that now that they have spent more time rereading and thinking about Excerpt 1, they will more formally summarize this section: 

* "What is the main idea of these first three paragraphs?"

  • Guide students through this thinking, as you model writing the summary on the top of the article: "The Dinka and Nuer both live in Southern Sudan and have been stealing each other's cattle for a long time. Until 1983, just a few warriors used to die in these raids. In 1983, they were on the same side of the war, and started to have guns."
  • Ask students to copy this summary onto their own article. Point out to students that in effect, you pulled together the gist of each paragraph to help you get to this summary.
  • Point out that Salva's point of view in Chapters 1-5 of the novel is about this period of time. Ask:

* "How does this article help us understand Salva's point of view?" 

  • Invite students to turn and talk, then share out. Be sure students understand that although Salva is scared of the Nuer, he and his tribe are not actively at war with the Nuer. Reinforce students who refer to examples from the novel to support their opinion, encouraging them to cite specific examples when possible.
  • If both versions of the Gathering Evidence graphic organizers were used by students for homework, consider how you might handle homework sharing in a manner that is respectful to students and their learning needs. This could include a simple explanation that there are two versions of the graphic organizer to support and extend their thinking or use of strategic grouping for sharing.
  • To model summarizing more explicitly, consider adding a think-aloud as you record your summary. This will allow students to see the process you used to summarize this excerpt of the text.

B. Read-aloud of Excerpt 2: Vocabulary to Support Understanding (15 minutes) 

  • Remind students that in Lesson 10, they focused on the first three paragraphs of the article. Today, they will focus on Excerpt 2. Before beginning, focus students on key lines from the text to clarify the chronology:

* "When was this article written? How do you know?" (1999)

  • Listen for students to point to the byline and date of the article.

* "What time period is Excerpt 1 about?" How do you know?"

  • Let students turn and talk to find evidence to answer this question. Cold call a few students to share out. Listen for students to note the phrases "for as long as anyone can remember" (paragraph 2) or "in 1983, when the war against the Arab north entered its current phase." 
  • Read just the first line of the second excerpt aloud, then ask: 

* "What time period is Excerpt 2 about? How do you know?" 

  • Let students again turn and talk, then share out. Listen for students to notice "Until 1991" "But that August." Be sure students understand that this second excerpt is about events from 1991 to the present: so far in the novel, this relates most directly to Nya's experiences. (Tell students that later in the novel, they will learn more about Salva's experiences in the 1990s.) 
  • Tell students that you will now read Excerpt 2 aloud as they read in their heads. Encourage them to focus on the vocabulary in bold, and to continue practicing using context clues to figure out what these words mean.
  • Read aloud as students read in their heads. 
  • As time permits, let students discuss and annotate the words they figured out. Remind them that they will keep working with Excerpt 2 for homework, so it is fine if they still don't yet understand everything. Remind them that this is a very challenging text, from one of the most respected newspapers in the country. And the topic is complicated too!
  • Circulate to listen in to gauge which students know how to use context clues effectively, and which students may need more support. Probe first, but model as needed (e.g., "I know the word "gorilla" is an animal, but that doesn't make any sense in this context. I think guerrilla has something to do with the warriors.").
  • Invite volunteers to share out what words they figured out, and how. Clarify definitions as needed:

* fault line: division 

* topple: take down; overturn

* coup: military uprising

* spiritual pollution: personal unrest

* guerrillas: rebel fighters

* roughshod: without care, supervision or safety 

* dysfunction: problems 

* assault: military

  • Reinforce when students are able to point directly to other information in this text, or refer to information they learned in the novel, that is helping them figure out these words (e.g., in paragraph 4, it says a Nuer officer tried to "topple" the Dinka. So "coup" may mean some kind of overthrow or rebellion). 
  • Consider partnering ELL students who speak the same home language when discussion of complex content is required. This can allow students to have more meaningful discussions and clarify points in their native language.
  • Reviewing academic vocabulary words benefits all students developing academic language.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Revisit Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Reread the learning targets.
  • Ask students to turn their attention to the "Things Close Readers Do" anchor chart. Invite students to suggest any additional practices that should be added to the chart from today's lesson. Elicit ideas related to determining vocabulary in context and add this practice to the chart.

Homework

Homework
  • Reread Excerpt 2 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" and annotate the text for gist.

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